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Southwest signs up as launch customer for Boeing’s 737 MAX 7

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 10:53 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, August 23, 2013, at 4:55 p.m.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines will be the launch customer of Boeing’s 737 MAX 7, the third version of Boeing’s 737 MAX family, a revamped version of Boeing’s 737, Southwest and Boeing said Wednesday.

Southwest converted existing orders for 30 737s into orders for the 737 MAX 7, becoming the first customer for the aircraft. The first delivery is expected in 2019.

“The 737 MAX 7 builds on the strengths of today’s Next Generation 737-700, incorporating the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines (and) is expected to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 12 percent over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane,” Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Southwest has been the launch customer for several 737 models, including the 737 MAX family in 2011.

“Southwest has been a valued partner in the evolution of the 737 program,” Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.

The airline also exercised options to add 737-800s to its fleet. It has unfilled orders for 180 737 MAX airplanes and 137 Next Generation 737s.

Boeing’s 737 MAX program has orders for 1,315 airplanes.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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